How Many Dog Crates Do You Need? (The Truth)


how many dog crates do you need

It’s common to have a crate for your doggo. However, you might be using fewer crates than required which could be affecting the wellbeing of your furry friend.

Your dog needs at least two crates at home which serve different purposes. One is to keep your dog in while at home, perhaps at night when you go to bed. The other is for transport purposes, specifically when traveling or going to the vet.

This article provides everything you need to know about the number of dog crates you need for your pup. You’ll discover why two crates are essential and why having one crate is less than ideal for your pup. 

Let’s dive in.

Is Only Having One Dog Crate Bad for a Dog?

Having only one crate isn’t the best for your dog. Your dog should have more than just a metal collapsible dog crate at home. While this becomes their safe space where they can retreat and relax away from everyone and everything. 

It’s not safe or permissible to travel with a metal dog crate. 

This is why you need to get two crates for your furry friend. One is metal, and the other is plastic. A plastic dog crate is the only way the guys at the airport will allow your dog to travel on the plane. Metal tends to be heavier and also makes all kinds of noises at security. 

A plastic crate is safe and comfortable for long travels. So, consider if at some point you want to travel with your doggo, whether it’s by car or by plane, getting them an additional plastic crate. 

Also, in the event that they need to be taken to the vet, having a familiar crate will help them be less anxious with the situation. 

Can a Dog Have Two Crates?

Apart from home and traveling, a dog can have two crates in the house. It’s definitely not uncommon. Some dog moms and dads prefer to have two dog crates at all times. One that’s in the living space and the other in the bedroom. 

The crates must be broad and long enough for your dog to stand and move around without feeling confined. In addition, there must be a water bowl and some comfortable bedding for them to lie on at all times. 

But, having a dog spend time in a crate without causing a mess requires some crate training. Training them to stay in either of the two crates comes with benefits for you and your dog. 

What are the Benefits of Having One Crate Vs. Two (or more?)

Having one crate at home can have some benefits for your best friend that’s worth noting. 

Pros of Having One Crate Instead of Two Crates

Private Safe Space

Imagine if you didn’t have a bedroom where you could get away from everyone to relax? You’d probably feel anxious and a little irritable. Your furry pup needs the same space where they feel safe and can spend time alone. 

Damage Control

What happens when you have to leave your dog alone at home to run errands or go to work? It’s not the best idea to leave your pup out in the open if they aren’t fully trained. A good size crate ensures they won’t damage anything in your home or worse, harm themselves. 

Vet Visits

Since the crate is already their safe space, they feel less anxious in it. That makes vet visits less stressful in the event they need to happen. 

This works more with smaller dogs as it might be tough to carry around your big German Shepherd in a crate. Their crate is safe and trustworthy for a smaller dog or pup, so you might consider having one for homestay and vet visits. 

Better House Training

When you decide to bring a puppy home, you must be committed to training it. Dog training plays a crucial role in their upbringing, especially if you want them to live indoors. 

It’s not easy for a pup to hold their bladder, for example, so they need a place to stay where they won’t want to soil it by going number 1 or number 2.  This will help train them to do their business in the morning and be able to hold it until you get home from work (or wherever you are).

Cons of Having One Crate Instead of Two Crates

  • The crate they use at home may be too large making it not ideal for vet visits. A simple alternative is getting another smaller plastic crate that can fit in your car and is easy to lift.
  • You may have only one metal crate which is not allowed in airports. Thus you need a second plastic crate for flying.
  • One crate is not suitable when you have more than one furry friend in your home. Each dog should have their personal crate to avoid conflict. This also applies when flying or visiting the vet, as you will also need separate crates for each dog.

How Many Crates Will a Dog Need in a Lifetime?

Some dogs may need only two crates in their lifetime. But it all boils down to size and needs, like movement. Smaller dogs can have the same crate all their lives. At 6 to 8 months, they stop growing, which makes it easier on you. 

You should get one metal crate to use at home and another (plastic crate) for traveling. Metal crates can easily last a long time because they’re considerably durable. However, ensure the metal isn’t corrosive, as that can be a health hazard to your fur baby. 

When traveling, a plastic crate keeps your furry friend safe. While this is a suitable means of transport, plastic tends to wear quickly. So, strive to find a durable plastic crate. This makes it easier on your wallet each time you want to go on vacation with your best friend. 

When it comes to large dogs, you’ll need two crates as they grow. Remember, they start as small pups and require a small crate. A large crate isn’t well suited for a puppy as they’ll have far too much room. 

So as they grow, you’ll need to change it to allow ample movement inside, especially when you lock it. 

A large dog won’t fare well in a plastic crate, which means you have to bring the larger metal one with you. This is only necessary as you move from place to place. Otherwise, many large dogs enjoy sitting on the passenger seat and taking in the views. 

In What Situations is it Essential to Have Multiple Crates?

At times, you must consider buying more than one crate. Not all crates fit the same purpose. For instance, you need a different crate to travel or when you have several dogs. 

Travel

Unlike home crates, travel dog crates tend to be unique. Imagine how nervous you feel when traveling. Likely, your furry friend feels the same way. 

In the way you appreciate some essential items to relax, the same applies to a dog. 

Most travel dog crates are made using high-quality plastic material. Not only is this crate easy to carry, but it’s also safe and won’t harm your furry friend.

Multiple Dogs at Home

Some people are content with one dog in the house. However, many households have multiple dogs under one roof. The rule is when you have multiple dogs, get each one a crate. You should never put more than one dog in a crate. 

No matter how big the crate is, it’s still a tiny space for multiple dogs. While dogs brought up together can lie in one crate willingly, it’s better to get each a crate for when they don’t feel like sharing, and each wants their space. 

Heavy or Wide Crates

Large dogs require heavy and quite large crates that can keep them inside safely. These crates are not a piece of cake when it comes to moving them. That’s why it makes sense to have another option in your house or the car. You can get your pup another crate for your room as well as one for car rides and safer traveling. 

Again if you have multiple dogs, that means more crates for them. It can be a lot of work to move them from one spot to the other. 

Final Thoughts

A dog crate is essential to house train a pup as it provides your furry friend with a safe space.  In addition, this is the item you need most when traveling on a plane with a dog that isn’t a service animal. They need a safe space to stay until you reach your destination. 

Most dog crates are made using metal or durable plastic. The size depends on a dog’s breed, plus things like age and movement needs. 

If you have one dog, two crates are the optimal amount of crates you need. 

One crate for use at home and the other for traveling, whether you’re traveling by car or on a plane. You should also consider how many four-legged friends you have because you definitely want at least one crate that each pup can call their own.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Where Should I Put A Dog Crate In My House

The 27 Best Dog Crates For Small Dogs And Puppies

How Long Can I Leave My Dog In A Crate | The Truth

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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